The sun is staying up in the sky longer each day and temps are finally starting to creep up for us here in NJ. That means now is the time to get my yard ready for summer enjoyment; be it a large family barbeque or just a simple glass of wine after a long day, I’m ready to spend some time in the fresh air and sunshine!
We’ve really worked on our yard to make it our own private oasis here in the middle of a bustling, suburban community and one of the things I am also conscious of is to make it as earth friendly as I can. We need to share our beautiful planet with our furry and feathered creatures, you know?
Here is a list of my top 5 favorite ways to beautify my yard while keeping it animal friendly for both the wildlife that visits and also, my dogs.
- Plant native species or drought resistant plants. Here in NJ, the Garden State, we are blessed to have a large variety of plants considered to be native and also, we get a lot of rain. Water conservation is becoming more important as our population increases, so choose your plants wisely and you’ll be saving the earth AND your pocketbook at the same time. The maintenance on my beautiful cherry tree is basically nothing. I love her!
- Plant trees and bushes that provide food and shelter for wildlife. Holly trees that produce berries are a favorite snack by most wild birds and sunflowers when full grown, have tons of protein-rich seeds that the squirrels, chipmunks and birds love.
- Have a mosquito problem? Skip the deet-laden sprays and install a simple bat house! One single brown bat can eat up to 1000 mosquitoes an hour! Mother Nature really knows more than we do about insect control.
- Skip that Round Up spray! Researchers at Iowa State University found that the heavy use of glyphosate (the main ingredient in Round Up) has resulted in an 81 percent decrease in the monarch butterfly population. So, avoid the Round Up and other harsh sprays and plant some milkweed for our suffering honeybee and butterfly populations. Natural lawn care is not as hard as you may think. Click here for a full article on what you can do by Organic Life.
- Think about composting. Compost is nature’s fertilizer and by composting your kitchen and yard scraps with that “black gold”, you can save hundreds on fertilizers while feeding your lawn and plants the best fertilizer possible. With a small, countertop composter like this one by Compokeeper, it’s easy to collect and transfer outside to your compost pile. I personally use this in my own kitchen – it’s a lifesaver!
I hope you enjoyed this list – I am going outside now to plant my own milkweed! What are your favorite ways to beautify your yard?